Barcelona set a bad record with their home defeat in the Spanish La Liga. They suffered a third home defeat in a row for the first time in a single season after they lost to Rayo Vallecano. Barca’s defeat leaves Real Madrid on the brink of the title, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side needing one point from five games to become champions.
Barcelona Lost three Successive Home Games for the Second Time in their History
Real Madrid can clinch a record 35th Spanish title by avoiding defeat against Espanyol next week Saturday. Rayo earned a Liga double over Barca through Alvaro Garcia’s sharp strike. They lost to German side Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals and Cadiz in La Liga on Monday, before losing to Rayo Vallecano making it a third successive home defeat for only the second time in their history. The other occasion came at the end of the 1997-98 season and the the the the the the the the start of the 1998-99 season under Dutch boss Louis van Gaal.
Barcelona, who knew victory would all but secure a top-four finish and Champions League qualification, have won just twice in their past six matches. Xavi’s side should still secure a top-four spot but his side’s form will be a concern for the legendary Barca midfielder, who took over from Ronaldo Koeman in October.
Barcelona dominated possession as they searched for an equalizer, with Gavi hitting the crossbar with a rising shot in the first half. The home side continued to press in the second half and, having thrown on attackers Memphis Depay, Luuk de Jong, and Adama Traore, created opportunities against a well-organized Rayo side. The away team’s goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski did well to stop several of Barca’s shots on target while defender Alejandro Catena cleared a Dembele shot off the line, as Barca could not find a way through despite almost 14 minutes of stoppage time.